ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0325.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Hazel Grouse; Bohemian Forest; Long-Term Monitoring; Population Trend; TRIM.
Online: 16 February 2021 (13:33:25 CET)
The population dynamics of Hazel Grouse was studied by presence/ absence recording at stationary sites along fixed routes (110 km) during 1972-2019 in the central part of the Bohemian Forest (Šumava, Czech Republic). The 100-km² study area covered altitudes between 600 m (Rejstejn) and 1,253 m a.s.l., (mount Sokol). Our data base contained indices of Hazel Grouse occupancy: positive sites/ controlled sites for a yearly increasing number of Hazel Grouse occurrence sites (N = 134) for 48 years. We used a loglinear Poisson-regression method to analyze the long-term population trend for Hazel Grouse in the study area. In the period 1972 to 2006 we found a stable Hazel Grouse population (p = 0.83). From 2006-2007 to 2019, the population index dropped (-3.8% per year, p < 0.05) for the last 13 years. This decline is assumed to be influenced by habitat loss due to succession resulting in older, more open forest stands, by strongly increasing forestry and windstorm “Kyrill” followed by clear cutting, bark-beetle damage, and removal of pioneer trees in spruce plantations, which diminished buds and catkins, the dominant winter food. The influence of disturbance by increasing touristic activities and/or predation is discussed. Our results could help to optimize conservation efforts for Hazel Grouse in the Bohemian Forest.